A DRUG addict who burgled the home of his 88-year-old partially-blind great-aunt in York has been jailed for four years.
Shane Philip Wilson, 41, used a crowbar to smash his way into the house where the woman lived with her 69-year-old son, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, said Paul Abrahams, prosecuting at York Crown Court.
He searched their home while they were out with her other son for a few hours on Sunday, March 23.
When the family returned and discovered £1,450 in cash and jewellery had been stolen, the great-aunt almost collapsed, said the barrister.
It was the second time the family had been burgled, though Wilson was not accused of the first burglary.
The Recorder of York Judge Stephen Ashurst told Wilson: “This is a desperately mean offence, “The court is unable to imagine two more vulnerable victims. You, as a distant family member, knew just how vulnerable your great-aunt and her son were.”
He jailed Wilson for four years and made a restraining order banning him from contacting his disabled relatives or going to the street where they live.
Wilson, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to burglary and carrying a knife, which police found on him when they arrested him on.
Mr Abrahams said Wilson told officers he took to carrying a knife with him because he was “scared of members of his family out to get him”.
After the family was first burgled, they had CCTV cameras installed and they filmed Wilson’s burglary.
The able-bodied son recognised him from the film and challenged Wilson, who handed over £1,000 of the stolen money. He had spent the rest on a drug debt and heroin.
The court heard Wilson plans not to return to York on his release from prison because of the ill-feeling towards him from his family.
His barrister Emma Bennett said he had only taken the money, not the jewellery that was missing from the house. He is clearly a man who is struggling with a serious addiction,” she said. All his lengthy offending was related to his long-term heroin habit.
Mr Abrahams said Wilson told police he had initially gone to his great-aunt’s to borrow some money to pay off his drug debt. When he discovered that she and her disabled son were out, he went and fetched a crowbar and burgled the house.
Wilson had a long history of previous convictions, including burglaries in 1984, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1999 and 2002. He also had three previous convictions for carrying knives or other weapons.